Tesco has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an advert it ran that claimed the horse meat scandal had impacted all retailers.

The ASA has banned the advert that Tesco ran in February under the strapline: ‘What burgers have taught us’.

The ASA said it “implied that all retailers and suppliers were likely to have sold products contaminated with horse meat” despite the fact “relatively few instances of contamination had been identified at the time”.

Tesco said in its response to the ruling that it accepted that not all retailers and suppliers had been implicated in the scandal in which horse DNA was found in burgers.

The advert said: “The problem we’ve had with some of our meat lately is about more than burgers and bolognese. It’s about some of the ways we get meat to your dinner table. It’s about the whole food industry.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are disappointed with this decision, but accept that the ASA has taken a very literal view of the wording in the advert.

“We think our customers understood that our aim with the advert was to set out the action we had taken in relation to the horse meat crisis and to acknowledge the fact the issue had serious consequences not just for Tesco, but for the whole of the food industry.”